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The Stalwart Numen reads slightly differently to the other numina. Most clearly read like the activated abilities they are.

Page 228:

Each Numen is a single ability linked to the entity’s nature — activated by a successful Power + Finesse roll unless stated otherwise.

Page 230:

Stalwart

The entity appears armored in Twilight form and uses Resistance as its Defense score instead of the lower of Power or Finesse.

It doesn't talk about it activates. For instance, it doesn't say "Entity morphs to grow armour in its twilight form". Also unlike the other Numina it doesn't state a cost in essence to activate.

Compare (Page 229):

Innocuous

The entity is very good at being overlooked. Perception rolls to notice the entity are penalized by 2 dice. This Numen does not require a roll to activate and has no cost.

Which makes it clear Innocuous is always on.

Is Stalwart always on (like Innocuous), or does it have to be activated?

If so, how long does it last?

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Yes, it is always active. You should treat it the same as Innocuous

An example of this can be see in the stat block for the angel: Drawbridge (Page 257 Demon the Decent):

He has :

  • Power 8,
  • Finesse 8,
  • Resistance 9,
  • and the Stalwart Numen.
  • His defence is listed as 9.

If Stalwart was not always on it would be recorded as 8.

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